NCF Nation: Ralph Friegden

1. Sometimes, as in the case of the 10-year marriage of Maryland and Ralph Friedgen, the university wanted out because it felt it had gone as far as it could go. In the case of the 12-year marriage of UConn and Randy Edsall, however, the coach wanted out because he felt he had gone as far as he could go. Edsall and Maryland found each other. Edsall got an upgrade. Maryland got someone different. What we have here is a second marriage.

2. Friedgen’s firing and Edsall’s departure means two schools lost coaches with tenures of at least 10 years. In an age when coaches are given three years to win, I assumed that the number of 10-year coaches had dwindled to nothing. Even with the loss of Friedgen and Edsall, however, there are still 14 10-year coaches. Special kudos to the four at non-AQ schools, supposedly stepping-stone jobs: Larry Blakeney of Troy (10), Gary Patterson of TCU (10), Howard Schnellenberger of FAU (10), and Pat Hill of Fresno State (14).

3. Utah (2011) and TCU (2012) are moving to AQ leagues, and Boise State is moving from the WAC to the Mountain West, which has a shot at becoming one. In other words, beginning with Boise State’s defeat of Oklahoma in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl, it’s possible that TCU’s Rose Bowl win is the peak of a long run of have-not success. But I don’t think so. If Boise State, Utah and TCU can ascend to the BCS bowls, so can UCF, Houston, etc. All it takes is good coaches willing to stay in place and build.